Stadium set for €4.7m expansion
By Mary Dennehy
TALLAGHT Stadium could be set for a €4.7m expansion after a feasibility report on plans for a fourth stand were presented to councillors this week – which would increase capacity to 10,000.
In council chambers on Monday, members were presented with a detailed report on the development opportunity of a fourth stand at Rovers’ home ground and the enhancement of the western stand, which faces out onto the Arena Complex.
Artist impression of the completed fourth stand, which would look out onto the Tallaght Bypass
The new North stand would have a capacity of 2,000 and after the recently completed third stand, will bring capacity at the local stadium to 10,000.
The North stand, which would face out onto the N81, includes toilet facilities and gangways, and infill commercial or community space.
As part of the development, the West stand would be remodelled and extended to include additional corporate capacity, a remodelled members bar, new press area and media seating and upgraded ball boys room at ground floor.
As discussed in the council chamber, there is also scope for other sporting groups within the community to use the new space.
Speaking after the presentation, Cllr Mick Murphy (Solidarity) said: “This stadium belongs to this council, to this county and that is not a minor detail.
“It will always be in public ownership . . . and there should be more happening there.”
A number of councillors spoke about the stadium’s potential to be used by community groups, with Renua councillor Ronan McMahon highlighting the opportunities for other sports to use the venue.
Speaking with The Echo, Sinn Féin councillor Dermot Richardson said that the proposed development could “set the standards” for stadiums across the country and add to the present match-day experience for all football games.
He added that the report is a “great vision” by South Dublin County Council to finish the stadium, with the proposal positive for not only Shamrock Rovers but League of Ireland, with Solidarity councillor Kieran Mahon commenting that a finished stadium could be “integral” to Irish soccer.
While there was a warm reception towards the report, suggestions were made around traffic management, such as encouraging people to cycle or park-and-ride on match days.
Speaking to elected members, CEO Danny McLoughlin said that the report not only fits in with the criteria required by UEFA but also with the criteria required for other events. He said that he believes the council can deliver this project, which according to the feasibility report aims to build on the stadium’s success to date.
In a comment to The Echo, a spokesperson for the council said: “The members noted the report and approved the progression of the report to Part 8 proposals.”